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“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.

“What I Remember(6)” – Nayana Nair

I am writing this poem
because for an hour my mind is butchering
every beautiful thing in the world
to get that one line that can finish the thirst of this page.
And nothing beautiful remains beautiful
when such desperate hands
hack at it, cut it into grotesque chunks
and then fail terribly when trying to stuff them
into these mascots figures, these alphabets.
I call this a poem
because I can call it nothing else.
I call this a poem
because years ago a naive me
reached the conclusion
that the only way
a moment can live on,
a feeling can be recorded,
without the burden of the reason of its existence
is if it becomes a poem
and because the current me
doesn’t know how to deal with myself,
the current me knows nothing but to write,
and has nothing of substance that moves it’s heart.
And I fear myself
for the ease with which I refer to myself as ‘it’,
only because I became useless for few minutes.
I end up documenting my fear
of becoming empty,
of becoming blind,
and calling it a poem.
I end up felling helpless in newer ways
and I am forced to call it a new beginning
because giving every sorrow a beautiful name
is all that I capable of.

“Weeds of our Garden” – Nayana Nair

We sit here all day, in our own corners.
The only corner that we could save from the world that we left.
The only piece of happiness we decided to carry on ourselves
because we didn’t wanted to be considered pitiful for clinging to something.
Because once we thought that feelings such as these are only hindrance.
Because we saw love as lint on our fine clothing,
something that should be removed like weeds from the garden of our ambition.
Believed that if we are enough, if we have enough
we can always find new friends and new love.

***

In the wind, there always used to be a rumor of someone
drunk on past, the one who used to shout and sing at midnight
songs about how nothing new he bought,
no one new he gave his heart to
could make him forget
about all those he had turned his back on.
My friend, I am afraid we have become that same person.
And we are pathetic not because we loved too much
but because we couldn’t love anyone,
not even ourselves.

“My Possessions”- Nayana Nair

All objects that I possess
have stopped doing what they were meant to do.
The window doesn’t bring me new air.
The bed doesn’t give me rest.
The glass filled with water and handful of pills
promise me disconnection from reality, sleep, or even death
but never the rest that I so want.
The words on my books run around on pages, hating my gaze.
The music breaks itself into disjointed string on noises.

It is as if one night
while I lay trying to forget you,
they voted and decided to forget me unanimously.
They agreed and concluded
that if someone must be forgotten
it is me.
So now they rebel,
they serve only purpose-
to remind me
of all I lost simply by losing you.

“Can’t Choose Something Better” – Nayana Nair

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You stand in the middle of every green field.
You stand in front of every road, every direction
that promises me something better,
a world
where the thoughts in my mind can finally settle.
But because you are here at the beginning of everything
I cannot find in myself the will
to begin anything new
and to leave you behind.

“Part and Parcel” – Nayana Nair

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That day when it rained of
bruised and dying birds
of feathers marked with colors only
an arrogant and confident cruelty can cause,
everyone looked about for an umbrella
to protect themselves from this vision
that they didn’t want to witness.
This was not the historic moment
that they wanted to be part of.

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I could understand their willingness to believe
that the marks of fingers in the blood and bodies
that filled up the roads
can be called natural causes.
It was probably better
than knowing the names of people whom we may have laughed with
only to know they know how to fly,
how to clip wings and suspend the decaying bodies in air
for eternities,
while we asked them the directions for our life,
while we asked them to tie up our laces as a child,
while we asked them to love us, and build a new life.

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I guess even the innocent
got fed up of being looked at like a potential danger
or tired of looking for one.
It was probably more convenient to come to an understanding,
of agreeing on a made-up fact
that this all is part and parcel of being a bird in the sky,
that birds should know better than to fly,
and tempt innocent humans into life of crime.
Birds at their best should just chirp joyfully
and let everything slide.

“Given” – Nayana Nair

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Even if I moved
there were lot of things that
remained a constant in my life.
All that mattered to me
was always with me,
so I don’t think I ever had to cope with downside
of being move all the time.
I have not built up towers of defenses against others
and even if I have,
it is not something new or peculiar.
Everyone I met,
everyone who lived like me
carried their fear,
the indifference to their own fear,
and their refusal to feel all that should hurt
as the most normal thing ever.
I think we all grew up to be not so broken
as people would have expected.
If nothing else
we maybe suffered as much as any child
but learnt how to separate what we feel from what we are.
When suffering is the norm,
when loneliness is a given condition of life
then they can no longer be excuse
for what we do or what we become.

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